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Mini-Review Article

Discovery of Active Ingredients in Traditional Chinese Medicine Based on the Analysis of Odor and Flavor of Compounds

[ Vol. 28 , Issue. 34 ]


Dan Wang, Feng Lu, Li Ai*, Chun-Jie Wu*, Ziqi Liu, Mengmeng Zhang and Ciping Zhong   Pages 2771 - 2784 ( 14 )


Background: The odor and flavor produced by a complex mixture of chemical components with different amounts and thresholds constitute a unique property for food and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). These compounds usually belong to mono- and sesquiterpenes, esters, lipids, and others.

Objective: This review aimed to demonstrate the extraction method and reliable technology for identifying the compounds responsible for their odor and flavor.

Methods: Existing techniques have been summarized for the analysis of taste and odor components and their characteristics, such as electronic nose (enose, EN) and electronic tongue (etongue, ET), which can separate high-quality food from low-quality and natural from artificial food in terms of unique odor and flavor.

Results: Gas chromatography-olfactometry mass spectrometry (GC-O-MS), a technique derived from Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), coupled with human sense by Olfactory Detector Ports has been successfully applied for screening of the odor-producing components for the food or Chinese medicine.

Conclusion: This current review provides some guidelines for quality evaluation of food or Chinese medicine.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), odor, flavor, active ingredients, bionic technology, gas chromatography-olfactometry mass spectrometry (GC-O-MS).


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